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DigiWells: Digital Well Center for Value Creation, Competitiveness and Minimum Environmental Footprint

What we do

The Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is a frontrunner for technological development for Improved Oil Recovery including well construction. Looking forward, there is a need to optimize the well delivery process (WDP) – i.e. planning and execution of drilling and completion process - with respect to value creation, safety and environmental impact.

This requires an integrated and cross-disciplinary, adaptive process:

  • Digitalization, automation and autonomy
  • New generation sensors and high-speed telemetry solutions
  • Digital twins, data assimilation and machine learning
  • Multi-disciplinary work processes and decision support

Research partners position/ infrastructure

  • SFI DigiWells research partners have leading expertise and skills in petroleum technology and drilling/ well construction, as well as in digitalization, machine learning and automation, including software prototyping and commercial development.
  • They possess world class field (ULLRIGG) and laboratory facilities (OpenLab Drilling)
  • Research partners are: NORCE, University of Stavanger, NTNU, University of Bergen, University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University, TU Clausthal and UPV EHU.

Why is this important?

Petroleum will still be an important energy resource for many decades and will also be needed within other domains - e.g. petrochemical industry. The carbon footprint from the oil and gas sector is a major concern and several operators have presented ambitious goals to minimize the carbon footprint from their petroleum production. NCS has a low carbon footprint from petroleum production compared to other areas. In order to meet future demands, the carbon footprint needs to be reduced further and the production need to be cost efficient. Well construction activities constitute nearly 50% of the costs associated with field development and a significant part of the carbon footprint.

In a recent report from Rystad it is estimated that the return on investment for petroleum research through projects financed by the Research Council of Norway is 30-fold. In the same report it is stated that advanced well construction is the technology that has the largest potential to increase production volumes at NCS during the next decades.

Maximizing oil and gas recovery is closely related to efficiency of wells construction. Field optimization and optimization of single well recovery hinges on proper target selection, the ability to monitor and influence well placement in real-time, choosing a suitable completion and possibilities for production optimization.

Using computer-aided decision support, digitalization offers the prospect of developing new and improved data collection-, handling- and computational capabilities that will help quantifying, constraining and reducing uncertainties affecting recovery. SFI DigiWells will capitalize on the possibilities presented by the accelerating introduction of digitalization.

Goals

Increased profitability with reduced carbon emissions

SFI DigiWells will contribute to keep the Norwegian Continental Shelf(NCS) at the forefront of technological development. More efficient wells will optimize NCS resource utilization resulting in lower cost per barrel (high value creation), less risk of hazards (safe operations) and reduced environmental impact (low carbon emissions).